Final vote on ‘Grunis Bill’ postponed to avoid filibuster

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December 12, 2011 12:36
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The final Knesset vote on the “Grunis Bill” was postponed yet again on Monday, following a planned filibuster attempt from the opposition.

The initiative, proposed by MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union), reduces the minimum tenure for a Supreme Court or National Labor Court president from three to two years, reversing an order from 2007 by then-justice minister Daniel Friedmann.

Opposition factions, with the exception of National Union, registered 5,000 suggested amendments to the bill, which would mean 27 hours of speeches. Although  MKs were unlikely to actually discuss the legislation for that long, cutting the speeches short would still be problematic for the coalition, because of the difficulty in predicting the exact hour of the vote. This, in turn, would make it difficult for coalition factions to make sure that the requisite number of MKs is in the plenum in order to pass the bills.

The second and third (final) readings of the bill in the Knesset plenum were supposed to take place last week, but coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) acquiesced to Katz’s request to postpone the vote, as the National Union MK was abroad. This week, Elkin withdrew the bill once again due to the possible filibuster, coalition sources say.

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